"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt
If you are fan of Brené Brown, you may have heard her reference this quote from a speech given by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. It was also the inspiration for her book, Daring Greatly, which focuses on the courage it takes to be vulnerable in life and relationships.
"Recovering" from perfectionism has been quite the journey for me, and this quote reminds me that the path to what we want is generally paved with stumbles, mistakes and many imperfect steps. But if we are stumbling, making mistakes and taking those steps, we are at least, "in the arena."